Also known as The Great Los Angeles Air Raid, this might be one of the most widely-reported and still unsolved mysteries in modern history. The facts, such as they are, are these: from late 24 February to early 25 February 1942, the US military responded to an unprovoked, unidentified attack by enemy forces above the skies of California.
The incident came a scant few months after the Pearl Harbour attacks, meaning America had just entered the war and were a little jumpy. Still, they wouldn’t unleash a barrage of anti-artillery fire on absolutely nothing. At first it was assumed to be a second attack by Japanese forces, but that was swiftly debunked.
Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox waved it away as a “false alarm”, but didn’t explain the bright lights in the sky which caused the army to fire in the first place. UFOlogists assert that this was one of the most significant paranormal events in history: first contact. Or rather, first contact, and the aliens were absolutely not friendly.
Humans spend so much time looking to the stars for weird and wonderful creatures, they almost forget how much there is still left on Earth to surprise us. After all, 95% of the world’s oceans remain unexplored by humans – below a certain depth, the pressure is impossible to survive for us. So what kind of weird creatures are hanging out down there?
Imaginations were further stoked to that topic by “Bloop”, a recording of a sound deep beneath the waves taken by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which was really low-frequency and crazy powerful, unlike anything they’d ever heard before. The closest comparison was icequakes (icebergs falling apart underwater).
It’s still up for debate exactly what the heck is going on in the Bermuda Triangle, that large stretch of ocean (estimated to be between 500,000 and 1,510,000 square miles, between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda), but what everybody knows for sure is that a whole lot of boats, planes, and other forms of transportation that enter it never come out.
Plenty do, of course, and it wasn’t even included on a recent list of the world’s ten most dangerous waters for shipping. Some have suggested that UFOs are abducting people there, or that leftover technology from the lost city of Atlantis draws people down into the murky depths it apparently inhabits nowadays. Spooky.
Something weird’s going on there for sure, with multiple civilian and military vehicles being lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Bombers carrying weapons and Navy ships alike have been mislaid in the mysterious stretch of ocean, which had a somewhat significant effect on how many casualties there were in certain World War II battles, for example.
A significant amount of zombie stories – films, books, games, whatever – begin with a slowly creeping sense that something is wrong. News reports of an infectious disease nobody has ever seen before, most frequently accompanied by a member of the US Centre for Disease Control talking about how they’ve never seen anything like it.
That is happening right now. Sort of. The CDC have gone on record saying that they don’t know whether a condition called Morgellons Disease, which results in painful sores appearing all over the sufferer’s body, represents a new disease, whether it’s contagious, and categorised it as an “Unexplained Dermopathy”.
If you’ve heard of Roswell, it’s either because you were a child of the nineties who didn’t have particularly discerning tastes when it came to television programming, or because you’re aware of the conspiracy theory which inspired that soapy-sci-fi alien love triangle mess in the first place. Almost seventy years later, its ripples are still being felt.
Covered up as a crashed weather balloon (and possibly something to do with spying on Russia), there are many who still think the government secrecy over an unidentified flying object landing unexpectedly in somebody’s living room was a sign of US involvement with extraterrestrials. Area 51 being just down the road didn’t help.
The haunting of Room 428 may have only changed history in a very small way, but it’s certainly significant. Reports of hauntings in the dormitory room at Ohio University in Athens stretch back decades, with the Wilson Hall building of residence for students the home to a ghost who died under mysterious circumstances in the seventies.
Stories since have ranged from the violent death of a young woman in the middle of an occult ritual, astral projection conducted by its occupants, along with multiple honest-to-goodness poltergeist sightings reported from multiple people – students and teachers – with objects being lifted and hurled violently through the air.
In most time travel fantasies that involve changing history, the catalyst for a butterfly effect throughout history is more often than not somebody dying. You kill Hitler, or you stop Abe Lincoln from dying, or something – and history changes. When somebody dies, you’re removing a person’s decisions, interactions and all from the world.
Which is why the Poltergeist Curse has had such an ineffable effect on history. For most, the Poltergeist Curse is simply that people keep making unnecessary sequels and now a remake of Tobe Hooper’s classic haunted house movie; or else it’s being damned to hear your know-it-all friend endlessly tell you about how Steven Spielberg really directed it.
When history reaches a fork in its path, most often its fate is decided by powers beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals. Which is to say that it’s usually the rich people in power, the governments and military leaders, who will affect the course of things. Mainly by waging war on each other, or making great scientific discoveries, or spying on their populace.
All of the biggest events in history – the Moon Landing, two World Wars, the 1966 World Cup win – were decided by forces outside of most people’s reach. Then there are the time when those outside forces aren’t just the establishment who treat the world as their plaything, beholden to their whims. Sometimes, those forces are something…other.
Most tales of paranormal activity will be waved away as nonsense, a mistake of the mind, a trick of the light, or else an outright lie. It’s easy to discredit things you don’t understand. And yet, sometimes these phenomena leave an ineffable mark on the annals of history, changing the world even if most of those living on it don’t believe they exist.
10 Unexplained Paranormal Events That Changed History
Whether you should go for dark and brooding, or smiling and friendly depends on your gender, the kind of relationship you’re after and, of course, context.
One study found that women under 30 tended to rate men as less attractive when smiling, so perhaps a straight and mysterious look is the way to go there. However, they did find that women over 30 – the ones more likely to be looking for a long term relationship – tended to like a bit of a smile, so it’s really all about who you’re trying to attract.
Men tended to find smiling women more attractive as well as, worryingly, women displaying shame.